Perspectives on greener product development and manufacturing from Sustainable Minds, our partners, customers and contributors.

TOTO Takes The Next Step And Verifies Its Commercial Products' Environmental Performance With Sustainable Minds Transparency Reports

By Sustainable Minds on November 4, 2014

Company Makes Building Industry's Green Purchasing Decisions Easier by Providing Functional and Environmental Performance Information in Easy-to-Understand Cloud-Based Reports

MORROW, Ga., Oct. 22, 2014 -- TOTO, the largest plumbing manufacturer in the world with $5.1 billion dollars in annual sales, announced today that it has strengthened its position as a leader in sustainable product design and marketing by introducing ten new Sustainable Minds (SM) Transparency Reports for select high-efficiency commercial products. The company's new SM Transparency reports showcase 15 products across four categories—toilets, sensor faucets, sensor flush valves, and ultra high-efficiency urinals.

Harnessing the life cycle assessment (LCA) results of TOTO's new commercial products, TOTO's SM Transparency Reports are the first to demonstrate this innovation in the design of ISO 14025 Type III environmental declarations. The objective of ISO 14025 environmental declarations is "to encourage the demand for, and supply of, products that cause less stress on the environment, through communication of verifiable and accurate information that is not misleading, that stimulates the potential for market-driven continuous environmental improvement."

To truly achieve this goal, SM Transparency Reports provide comprehensive information about a product, not only the required LCA and environmental data. They present functional and environmental performance information together in a comprehensive and concise three-page, cloud-based report. The environmental performance and LCA data is presented in an understandable format and made meaningful by enabling TOTO to describe what the company is doing to reduce its products' impact on the planet. They are credible and effective strategic marketing tools that bring consistency and standardization to environmental product transparency reporting.

"Our product development process includes rigorous assessment, then concrete action to reduce our products' impact on the environment, with the goal of continuous improvement," said Bill Strang, President of Operations for the Americas. "We must be able to transparently provide the design-build community with accurate scientific data in an easy-to-understand, standardized format, so they have information they can trust and are empowered to make sound decisions when implementing environmental performance improvement strategies for their projects. SM Transparency Reports enable us to meet this market demand."

NSF International verified, TOTO's new SM Transparency Reports for select commercial products enable the company to accurately describe to the design-build community what it is doing to improve the environmental performance of its products across their life cycle from cradle to grave—from product design and raw material selection to manufacturing, use, logistics, and end of life. Armed with this information, the design-build community can evaluate and compare plumbing products from TOTO's portfolio (and in the future, from others in the plumbing industry when they report on product transparency) and make well-informed greener purchasing decisions that help improve the environmental performance of the buildings they erect.

"When selecting products for a building project, owners, architects, designers and other members of the design-build community do not have time to wade through and interpret the highly technical kinds of information provided in traditional environmental product declarations (EPDs), which rarely include much needed product marketing information or substantiation of what the company is doing to make its products greener," said Jason Fitzsimmons, Vice-President of Sales for the United States. "Further, the presence of an EPD does not mean the manufacturer has a greener product or has made improvements. It only means they've done an LCA, according to industry requirements. Our commercial products' new SM Transparency Reports convey all the needed information in a clear, concise and transparent manner and demonstrate that TOTO understands the impacts of its decisions. They offer a manageable approach for the design-build community to do their due diligence when specifying products." This year, TOTO has developed SM Transparency Reports for its popular high-efficiency commercial toilets, EcoPower sensor faucets and flush valves, and ultra high-efficiency urinals. TOTO's new SM Transparency Reports may be viewed in the TOTO Showroom, in the Sustainable Minds' Manufacturers Showroom, where visitors found the SM Transparency Reports for select high-efficiency toilets the company introduced last year.

"The green building rating systems have been smart to incentivize manufacturers to provide LCA-based information for decision-makers to earn credits for making greener product decisions. But even with the increasing demand for product transparency, manufacturers will not engage if they cannot see a clear correlation to business benefits. Last year at this time, SM and TOTO introduced Transparency Reports. This year we're introducing the SM Transparency Report Program, a step change innovation in the PCR/EPD process designed to standardize, harmonize and make product transparency reporting understandable and meaningful. It's faster, scalable, cost efficient, user-friendly and the first comprehensive program for product manufacturers to design and market greener products and create a continuous improvement loop. TOTO's leadership in developing and demonstrating the SM Transparency Report Program is highly valuable to stakeholders not just in the plumbing industry, but in all industries," said Terry Swack, Founder & CEO, Sustainable Minds.

About TOTO:
TOTO USA is headquarters for the Americas Division of the TOTO Global Group, which was established in 1917 with the founding of TOTO, Ltd., in Kitakyushu, Japan. TOTO is the world's largest manufacturer of bathroom fixtures and fittings with $5.1 billion dollars in annual sales. For nearly 100 years, TOTO has been the recognized leader in performance innovation and design with products that enhance the luxury bathroom experience. Today, the company maintains 23,500 employees in 69 offices around the world and owns manufacturing facilities in Japan, Mexico, the USA, China and Europe with an affiliated network of more than 80 production facilities worldwide. With over 1,500 engineers on staff and three centers devoted to research and development, TOTO is dedicated to engineering products that respect the environment while meeting people's needs for comfort, beauty and performance. TOTO's corporate philosophy – People-First Innovation – is the guiding principle for all the company's processes, from engineering and design to manufacturing and sales. Consumers enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing they purchased a brand that innovates to improve people's quality of life. Winner of numerous domestic and international awards and recognitions, TOTO is the only plumbing manufacturer honored as Water Efficiency Leader by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The company continues to raise industry standards and consumer expectations as to what is possible in the bathroom, as TOTO believes a high-quality bathroom is an experience and an everyday luxury people value and appreciate.

For more information, consumers may visit or call 1.888.295.8134, Option 5. Follow TOTO on Twitter (@TOTOUSA) and become a TOTO fan on Facebook

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